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Fireweed - Oregon Desert Trail Journal - 2016

Out to McDermitt

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Mary "Fireweed" Kwart
City: Ashland
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 29, 2016
Direction: Eastbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Jul 19th, 2016
Start: Cottonwood Creek
End: Disaster Peak Road west of McDermitt
Daily Distance: 12
Trip Distance: 536.3

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 75
Journal Visits: 3,154
Guestbook Views: 33
Guestbook Entrys: 5

Oregon Desert Trail Map

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Cow Maintained Trail up Cottonwood Creek

I got a 9 AM start--thinking I could breeze through the road walking miles to the Disaster Peak Road west of McDermitt. I continued on the road down Cottonwood Creek then turned NE and switchbacked on the barely there road toward Upper Mitchell Spring. Then I would skirt around the Mitchell Homestead private property and head x-c to the McCormick Road, which would take me all the way to the Disaster Peak Road. There was one segment of private land right before the Disaster Peak Rd that I hoped would allow a pass through without No Trespassing signs because the McCormick Road appeared to be a more major dirt road. It was easy to follow the COttonwood Creek road the waypoint where Renee's alternate took off south on a steep x-c sidehill and over a ridge. I followed the barely discernible road as it zigzagged down to Upper Mitchell SPring. I saw a small herd of cows sauntering along below me, probably headed for the spring. Hope I can beat them, I need some water.I picked up my pace. There was a full trough at Upper Mitchell Spring. There were cows there, but they left as I approached. I don't know why some cows leave and some stand their ground. Even the small group yesterday at Beaver Log Springs left even though a bull was with them.Who knows. I wish there was some way to accommodate the cows and humans, so the cows wouldn't have to move off and the humans could use the water sources. Some day desert trail organizations (AZT, GET, Hayduke, ODT) will have to bear the brunt of water source maintenance as cattle ranching becomes more untenable due to climate change.I filled up my liter water container straight from the water flowing from the pipe, since it was the freshest available. The Mitchell Homestead was long abandoned with an interesting stone cabin that looked like a miniature Alamo. It was a little more artsy than the usual stone structure--darker stones were used for the corners and the front roofline was curved. I struck out x-c to McCormick road which followed a power line gong south in the distance. The usual road walking with visual cues on the horizon hardly getting any closer as the minutes dragged on. I passed a full water trough along the road, not near any spring I could see. The road passed into private land without any No Trespassing signs and I met the wife of the owner, swathed in a long sleeve shirt and wearing a prairie bonnet, on a walk with her dogs as the road neared the Disaster Peak Rd. I thanked her for allowing people to pass, and she said they had no problem with people passing through if they didn't impact anything. Her welsh corgi followed me on the road--it wouldn't go home even with my prodding. I met Preston and Eric and we started taking the dog back to the ranch house. At a locked gate a Schwan's truck came up behind us and I passed the dog to him because he was going to the ranch house. The dog wouldn't even go home after we reached the gate! We checked into the DIamond A motel in McDermitt--clean, serviceable rooms, but they don't get network channels so I missed my 5:30 NBC nightly news. We had dinner at the Say When Casino--chicken fried steak was the special. Good to be off the trail until the next segment--perhaps in September.

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